Even before Ethiopia’s parliament approved Sahle-Work Zewde as the country’s new president on Thursday, the veteran diplomat had been receiving congratulatory messages on social media.
Sahle-Work is at present U.N. under secretary general and special representative of the secretary general to the African Union.
Parliamentary members from the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) & House of Federation (HoF) accepted the resignation of now former president Teshome Mulatu, before proceeding to elect Zewde to replace him.
Following her swearing-in ceremony, Zewde addressed the legislators, making a passionate appeal for peace in the country.
The East African nation with a population of over 100 million people, is currently plagued with bloody inter-communal disputes that have displaced 1.4 million people this year, according to the Geneva-based Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.READ MORE: Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda – Disaster displacements figures
Zewde, also used the occasion to highlight the plight of mothers and women in Ethiopia, urging the lawmakers to work towards building a society that rejects oppression of women.
“When there is no peace in country, mothers will be frustrated. Therefore, we need to work on peace for the sake of our mothers,” Zewde told parliament after her approval.
In a patriarchal society such as ours, the appointment of a female head of state not only sets the standard for the future but also normalises women as decision-makers in public life. #Ethiopia (2) pic.twitter.com/3Z8UNd15E0— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) October 25, 2018